Retirement in US – Social Security provides most of the income for about half of households age 65 and older

Job Market Monitor

Many retirees and workers approaching retirement have limited financial resources. About half of households age 55 and older have no retirement savings (such as in a 401(k) plan or an IRA). According to GAO’s analysis of the 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances, many older households without retirement savings have few other resources, such as a defined benefit (DB) plan or nonretirement savings, to draw on in retirement (see figure below). For example, among households age 55 and older, about 29 percent have neither retirement savings nor a DB plan, which typically provides a monthly payment for life. Households that have retirement savings generally have other resources to draw on, such as non-retirement savings and DB plans. Among those with some retirement savings, the median amount of those savings is about $104,000 for households age 55-64 and $148,000 for households age 65-74, equivalent to an inflation-protected annuity of $310 and $649…

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What Old Farts Do All Day

When you retire, you gain eight or more extra hours of leisure time each day. Retirees are generally using that extra time to linger a little longer over meals, sleep, do household chores, and watch a lot more TV, according to recently released American Time Use Survey data for 2011. Here’s how people age 65 and older are filling their days:

Relax. As you might expect, retirees have a lot more time for leisure activities than people who are still working. People age 65 and older spend an average of just over seven hours per day on leisure and sports, compared to just over five hours among the overall population. “These are people who have fulfilled the dream of having the complete choice of anything they want to do, and the things they choose are surprising,” says John Robinson, a sociology professor at the University of Maryland and coauthor of Time for Life: The Surprising Ways Americans Use Their Time. “The three things that retirees spend the most extra time on are reading, resting, and TV.” Retirees spend twice as much time relaxing and thinking (0.6 hours) and reading (0.7 hours) compared to the overall population (0.3 hours for both activities). And senior citizens are equally as likely as younger people to surf the Internet for leisure and spend time socializing with friends, and only slightly less likely to exercise.

 Watch TV. Americans watch an average of two hours and 45 minutes of TV per day. Retirees watch even more, averaging 4.2 hours of TV-viewing each day. Men age 65 and older watch an hour more of TV daily (4.73 hours) than older women (3.74 hours). And people age 75 and older watch more TV than any other age group.

Sleep. The only thing seniors spend more time on than leisure activities is sleep. Retirees spend nine hours per day sleeping, compared with 8.7 hours daily among the population as a whole.

 Household chores. Retirees took an average of 2.4 hours per day to tackle household chores, compared to 1.8 hours among all Americans. People age 65 and older spend slightly longer on housework, food preparation and cleanup, and lawn and garden care.

Eat and drink. The typical American spends about an hour and 15 minutes each day eating and drinking. Retirees linger slightly longer over meals, for an average of about an hour and a half each day.

 Work. Not all people age 65 and older are retired. The typical senior citizen spends nearly an hour each day working. But seniors are less likely to work than the population as a whole, which spends just over 3.5 hours per day working. “Older cohorts of individuals are less likely to be employed, so they spend less time working,” says Rachel Krantz-Kent, program manager of the American Time Use Survey. Retirees also seldom spend any of their time persuing formal education, compared to an average of about a half hour per day among the entire adult population.

 Shop. Retirees have plenty of time to research and comparison-shop for their purchases, and they spend 0.87 hours per day doing so. Americans overall spend 0.72 hours acquiring goods and services.

 Volunteer. Retirees spend very little time caring for household members (0.07 of an hour) and helping people outside their household (0.2 hours). In contrast, Americans overall spend half an hour per day caring for family members, primarily children, and about the same amount of time as retirees caring for people outside their household. However, retirees spend slightly longer than most Americans volunteering and pursing religious and spiritual activities, doing each for an average of almost 15 minutes each day.

via What Retirees Do All Day – US News.

[if you do the math, it’s more than 24 hours in a day, so seniors must be great multi-taskers]

Compromise, respect conquer all when deciding where to live



Before the other weekend, I had never visited Phoenix.  For one reason, I hate to travel.  For another, I don’t know a soul there. So why bother?

But recently, my cousin, Randy, got married in Phoenix, his new bride Ranee’s hometown. So being a good cousin, I hopped a Southwest flight to what I now believe is the driest place on Earth. Within two hours of landing, I was sucking down water (and beer) and applying enough lip balm to lubricate a fleet of diesels.

I learned that I’ll never live in that place. It’s just unnatural to be that dry, that brown.  While I was there, I had the opportunity to chat with my West Coast cousins about their futures and what they imagined would be their dream locales.  Without hesitation, they each declared their loyalty to all things California.

Of course, as an East Coaster born and raised, I could not imagine the benefits of such a Western inclination.  But it got me thinking about place — and of the people we are incompatible with simply because of the places they call home.

I might meet a woman who could steal my heart, but the second she said she couldn’t wait to get back to Phoenix, I would have to call it off. Where is the future? Someone who bleeds for the desert is going to have a hard time with the humid life on the East Coast, especially in Florida.

We all like to think that true love conquers all, but I beg to differ.  True love is the foundation that allows a couple to build a life. True love is the basis for a lasting relationship. It does not, however, bring the ocean to the desert. It does not crumble mountains into plains or turn forests into lakes.

Compromise for the sake of true love is what conquers all. When a man who withers in the desert meets a woman who sweats in the swamp, they must find neutral ground on which to build their lives.

This analogy bears out across the spectrum of relationships. No one who truly wants to be in a partnership can expect to win all the battles.  True love is merely the catalyst that allows for the greatest occurrences of compromise. For the one you love, you will do all but the most painful things to ensure her happiness. In return, you expect the same.

But can, say, a country-western guy marry and be happy with a rock ‘n’ roll girl? I think so. With love comes respect — not just respecting the facets of a person you find truly great but also respecting her opinions when you think they’ve fallen off the deep end. You have to respect the fact that not every detail of life needs to be totally agreed upon and realize that, when these differences intersect, it’s a good time for compromise.

I can say for sure that I will never inhabit a place like Phoenix for longer than a weekend. I loved the weekend, but the city is not for me, so I could never force myself to live there. If I were to fall for a woman who couldn’t stand living in the Central Florida swamps, I’d have to relinquish any expectations I had of staying in this paradise forever. Because that’s what compromise is about.

Compromise, respect conquer all when deciding where to live.

– tribunedigital-chicagotribune